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WORKPLACE SAFETY

10 tips for winter safety in your office parking lot

As extreme winter conditions continue in many parts of the country, remember to have your office parking lot maintained for the safety of your employees and clients. Here are some tips for promoting safety in your office parking lot this winter and being better prepared for future winters: Clear the parking lot of snow and ice regularly to improve traction and reduce the risk of slips and falls. This may involve hiring a contractor or having staff members take turns clearing the lot. Mark slippery areas with caution signs or cones to warn drivers and pedestrians of potential hazards. Install snow fences or berms around the perimeter of the parking lot to help prevent snow drifts from blocking entrances and exits. Stock up on supplies such as sand, salt, and… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

Treat passwords like underwear: Change often and don’t share

Did you know that most confirmed data breaches involve the leveraging of weak, stolen, or default passwords? One of your practice’s frontline defenses for avoiding the phishing  attacks and other cybercriminal schemes is effective password management. How well are you managing yours? Take this quiz from Michael J. Sacopulos, JD, founder and CEO of the Medical Risk Institute, to find out.  Strong passwords are too complicated to remember. It’s fine to use passwords that are short and easy.            True or False?  Answer: False Easy passwords are easy to crack. Popular passwords in the United States continue to be “password” and “12345.” These weak passwords offer little security and are simply dangerous. Instruct your team to create strong passwords that contain a mix of letters, cases, and… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Are there guns in your workplace?

By Lynne Curry If you think the national division over guns hasn’t hit your workplace, you haven’t been listening. Not only are the employees who advocate for increased gun control, including a ban on assault-style rifles like the AR-15, engaged in an active argument with those who argue for fewer restrictions on gun owners’ ability to carry concealed firearms—but some of your coworkers or employees may be packing. Does your employee handbook address whether your employer allows employees or non-employees to bring guns onto worksites? What about whether employees can keep guns in their cars or trucks? The concealed handgun permit statues in many states don’t address whether those legally permitted to own guns can bring them to work or carry them into others’ workplaces. Instead, it’s up to employers… . . . read more

WORKPLACE SAFETY

Signs of potential disaster were present at Walmart—Are they at your workplace?

By Lynne Curry There were signs of potential disaster that later erupted in six deaths when Walmart supervisor Andre Bing shot and killed six coworkers in November. There always are. Four decades of investigating violent workplace incidents have convinced me of this. “I didn’t want to say anything,” someone always says, “but….” “That was just ‘Jon,’ but we all sort of knew it, and didn’t poke the bear.” “I didn’t want to get anyone in trouble, so I didn’t tell anyone.” “I was too scared to say anything.” The Walmart investigation uncovered significant information detailing the genesis of the November disaster. Bing had written a note on his phone filled with complaints about coworkers, saying they mocked and harassed him. He named the coworkers he felt had antagonized or betrayed him. One coworker… . . . read more

INSIGHT

Office politics and how it damages your firm

By Elizabeth M. Miller  bio
Office politics can be a problem in any size law firm—from a firm as large as 1000+ to as little as a solo practitioner with 2 staff members…


. . . read more

TOOL

Office safety inspection checklist

The examples outlined below do not list all the possible items for office inspections. The best checklist for your workplace is one that has been developed for your specific needs. Whatever the format of the checklist, provide space for the inspectors’ signatures and the date. Inspectors: Date: (O) Satisfactory (X) Requires Action Location Condition Comments Bulletin Boards and Signs Are they clean and readable? Is the material changed frequently? Do items interfere with people walking by? Floors Is there loose material, debris, worn carpeting? Are the floors slippery, oily or wet? Stairways and Aisles Are they clear and unblocked? Are stairways well lighted? Are handrails, handholds in place? Are the aisles marked and visible? Equipment Are guards, screens and sound-dampening devices in place and effective? Is the furniture in good… . . . read more

WORKPLACE WELLNESS

Five essentials to support employee mental health and well-being

As reports of quiet quitting and the Great Resignation have shown, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the nature of work for many and the relationship that some workers have with their jobs. In response, the United States Surgeon General has released the Surgeon General’s Framework for Mental Health & Well-Being in the Workplace, outlining the foundational role that workplaces should play in promoting the health and well-being of workers and communities. With more than 160 million people participating in the United States workforce and with the average full-time worker in the United States spending about half of their waking life at work, workplaces play a significant role in shaping mental and physical well-being. Employers have a unique opportunity not only to invest in the mental health and well-being of their workforce, but… . . . read more

HIRING & FIRING

The dreaded “you’re fired” interview

By Lynne Curry You dread what you’re about to do. Even though your employee deserves to be fired, you hate firing anyone. You also fear the damage a fired employee can create with false wrongful termination allegations. If you’d to fire without backfiring and in a way that leaves the fired employee with dignity, here’s what you need to know. Do your job right Have you done your job? Have you clearly let your employee know your expectations; and given your employee the resources, training and support needed to do their job, along with corrective feedback, and chances to improve? If you’re not sure you have, check out the suggestions in “Pressing Reset” (chapter 7 of Managing for Accountability, https://bit.ly/3T3vww8/. If you’ve done your job, you’ve minimized the risk of a wrongful termination lawsuit and can… . . . read more

HIRING

3 things to know about background checks

 By Paul Edwards “No, we didn’t do a background check on her before we hired her. She seemed like such a nice person.” “Well, I just ‘Googled’ him, and it looks like he has some sort of criminal record, but I can’t see what it is.” These are things we occasionally hear from our CEDR members on the topic of background checks. Although nobody wants to think the worst of every applicant, it just makes good business sense to look into a person’s background before you make them your employee. This is especially true when you are hiring someone who will have access to your company’s financial records and/or to client financial information such as social security and credit card numbers. A call that we hate to get, but we… . . . read more

RISK MANAGEMENT

What you should know about new COVID-19 guidance

CDC is streamlining its COVID-19 guidance to help people better understand their risk, how to protect themselves and others, what actions to take if exposed to COVID-19, and what actions to take if they are sick or test positive for the virus. COVID-19 continues to circulate globally, however, with so many tools available to us for reducing COVID-19 severity, there is significantly less risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death compared to earlier in the pandemic. “We’re in a stronger place today as a nation, with more tools—like vaccination, boosters, and treatments—to protect ourselves, and our communities, from severe illness from COVID-19,” said Greta Massetti, PhD, MPH, MMWR author. “We also have a better understanding of how to protect people from being exposed to the virus, like wearing high-quality masks,… . . . read more


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